Why You Should Never Represent Yourself for a DUI

Posted: May 1, 2023 at 12:00 am

If you’re dealing with a DUI, then you can either represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you. It may seem more favorable and affordable to represent yourself, but you should always work with a DUI attorney. Let’s look at why you should always work with an attorney when dealing with a DUI in Overland Park, KS.

Why You Should Always Hire a DUI Attorney in Overland Park, KS When Dealing With a DUI

1. You Lack Experience

The legal system isn’t easy to deal with unless you’ve studied the law extensively. It’s confusing and complicated and full of nuances that only professionals know. Reading up on the law before representing yourself in your case isn’t going to be enough much of the time. You need to understand the nuances, determine how other legal professionals interpret certain areas of the law, and much more.

When you work with an attorney, you don’t put yourself at risk of not understanding something that happens during the case. You always have a point of contact to help you.

2. You’ll Improve Your Chances of Success

There’s almost always a higher chance of you getting out of your case with dropped or reduced charges if you work with a professional. Your attorney knows best how to safeguard your rights, create a winning defense, and convince judges and other attorneys of why your charges should be dropped or reduced.

There’s never a guarantee that your charges will be dropped or reduced, but the chances of it happening if you’re representing yourself are considerably lower than if you’re working with a professional.

3. You Have a Life to Deal With

You probably have tons of responsibilities to deal with without representing yourself in court. You have a family, a job, and many other responsibilities. You don’t have time to research the law and build a defense for hours a day: which is what it takes.

An attorney, on the other hand, also has responsibilities, but the key difference between you and them is that mounting your defense is one of their responsibilities once you hire them. This is their job. Plus, it’s easier for a professional to come up with a defense strategy because they already understand the law. They don’t have a lot of learning to do before they can represent you.

4. You Don’t Have a Reputation

Your attorney may have a reputation that precedes them. Building a strong reputation in the court system is part of their job, and it helps their clients immensely. Experienced and reputable attorneys may be able to get lesser fines or sentences for their clients because of that reputation. They have experience that backs up their claims, and they’ve likely won many cases like yours before.

If you represent yourself, then you have no representation to help you. All the prosecutor sees you as is an individual with no legal knowledge and a DUI.

5. You May Miss Deadlines

There are numerous deadlines to adhere to when dealing with a court case. Your lack of knowledge, other responsibilities, and experience may lead to you missing these deadlines. Attorneys have plenty of experience adhering to deadlines, and they won’t question themselves when putting together your case and filing paperwork, so it’ll be easier for them to stay on track.

Your attorney can remind you of deadlines, hold you accountable, and help you get paperwork submitted promptly.

6. You Might Get Emotional

You’re only human, and you may get emotional when trying to represent yourself. This, unfortunately, may harm your defense. Some emotional outbursts may even get you into trouble.

When working with an attorney, your attorney won’t let their emotions get the better of them. Your attorney will help coach you through the experience, helping you form responses that are unemotional and not incriminating. Essentially, they’ll help you represent the best version of yourself in court.

7. You Don’t Have a Network

Expert witnesses are often called to give testimonies during DUI cases. You’ll likely find it very hard to find expert witnesses to call upon to help you with your defense. Your attorney typically has a large network of professionals that they can contact when needed. They also know exactly who to contact when necessary, and it’s a resource that you’ll definitely regret not having if you choose to represent yourself.

How to Find the Best DUI Lawyer to Represent Your Case

1. Look for Expertise

The law surrounding DUIs is complicated. Make sure you work with somebody who has worked extensively on DUI cases before. Someone who has worked on many cases like yours is in the best position to represent you and get you a good outcome.

2. Look for Someone Local

Different jurisdictions have slightly different court systems, so look for somebody who knows the system in your area. The attorney must also have an understanding of the laws in your area to adequately help you. Plus, working with a local attorney will cut down commuting times when you need to meet with them.

3. Look for a High Success Rate

It would be poor judgment to work with an attorney who’s lost most of their cases. Ask your attorney about their success rate when you’re considering hiring them, and make sure they have some good testimonials, too. They should be easy to work with as well as successful in their practice.

4. Look for Someone Who Answers Questions Well

You should ask every attorney you meet several questions to get a feel for their expertise and personality. The attorney you work with should have no problems answering anything you ask them, and they should be honest with you regarding your case right from your first consultation.

Key Questions to Ask Your Attorney

1. Will You Be Handling My Case Personally?

Some attorneys delegate some of their work to paralegals and various support staff, so it would be good to know how much the attorney will be handling themselves. Plus, when you consult a law firm, the first lawyer you speak to may not be the one who ends up working on your case. During your consultation, ask if they’ll be handling your case personally or if it’ll be a colleague.

2. How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Worked On in Recent Years?

An attorney who has only worked on a handful of DUI cases in the last year or two isn’t as ideal to work with as one who’s worked mostly on DUI cases over the past few years. Consider their recent cases carefully when making your decision.

3. What Kind of Outcome Do You Expect for My Case?

An attorney can’t fully predict the outcome of any case. However, they should be able to give you an estimate of what may happen in your case. If the attorney refuses to answer, then you may wish to consider working with somebody more open. A great attorney won’t hold anything back. They want to be realistic and not give you high or low expectations going into the case.

Get in touch with Henderson Defense Firm, LLC Attorneys at Law today if you need help with a DUI charge. Don’t make the mistake of trying to represent yourself; attorneys are willing and able to help.